Random Thoughts! (May 17, 2011)

Random Thought! No rain, no rain, no rain! It's random thoughts time! Get excited!

Link Thought! GraphiContent for comics. butterbeatleblog for popculture.

Random Thought! The Splash Page Podcast ended on Friday night with episode 50. It was Tim's decision to walk away and I'm both happy/annoyed by that. I would have liked to keep going, but don't blame Tim for wanting to move on to other things -- mostly spending some time with his wife on Friday nights. Hell, I'll be happy to have my Friday nights back. I can watch baseball or wrestling or a movie or whatever -- I can hang out with my girlfriend and maybe get to bed before one am! I really enjoyed doing the podcast with Tim. We'd been doing stuff together online for a while and it was cool to finally talk to him like that. It could have been a disaster where we discovered that we hated one another and, instead, it was usually effortless and something that we had to end on purpose every Friday night, because we could have kept talking for far longer than we did. It was fun. Of course, it's not like Tim and I have 'broken up' or anything, we're just not podcasting. We'll probably return at some point to a written discussion or maybe another podcast or maybe something entirely different. Who knows? Maybe we will never do anything like this in public again. And Tim wondered if I'd continue the podcast without him and, no, I won't. The Splash Page Podcast was he and I. Bringing in someone else on a full-time basis would be weird. The random one-off guest shows we did were fun within the context of the show, but I'd rather do something new with someone else -- if I'm going to do something with someone else. Different approach/format/topics/who knows. Sometime, in the next month, I'll be deleting most of the episodes we currently have up because we'll be shifting down to a free account. I'll probably also find a place for the Joe Casey interview episode somewhere online so that's always available. Honestly, it's the only episode I want to keep available. The rest were just a weekly thing that were meant to come and go, not permanent things. Also, the Joe Casey episode is the only one I'd ever want to listen to again. So, yeah... that's done. Thanks to everyone who listened and liked the show. I was always just talking to Tim, but the rest of you bastards listening in was nice.

Random Thought! I really enjoyed Matt Seneca's review of Chester Brown's Paying for It. He has a strong moral approach to the book that I hadn't considered. And, normally, morality means nothing to me in art, but this is definitely something worth thinking about before picking that book up.

Random Thought! It's weird to think about Chris Burnham's art in Batman, Incorporated #6. It's really good art, but, at the same time, it doesn't necessarily feel like the right art for the comic. He adds a weird comedic effect to the comic that doesn't work. Or, more accurately, doesn't feel appropriate. Weird.

Random Thought! I am really enjoying Journey into Mystery so far. I like how the colouring looks like it's pencil crayons. Really works with colouring right over top of pencils. And Kieron Gillen is doing some great work with this version of Loki.

Random Thought! Last week, wound up buying Collider by the Sam Roberts Band, 20 Odd Years by Buck 65, and The Lady Killer by Cee-Lo Green. Listened to Collider the most and am enjoying it. The problem with Roberts is that he hasn't quite managed to recapture the magic of We Were Born in the Flame, an album that still speaks to me quite a bit. Collider has a few stand-out songs and the rest all sound nice, but don't knock me on my ass. It has grown on me over the week, though. And I am seeing the band in Detroit in June, so that's good. 20 Odd Years is very hit or miss for me. Some songs are right up there with Buck 65's best work and others just feel like throwaway songs. I've listened to The Lady Killer the least, but have enjoyed it.

Random Thought! Heading to Detroit tonight to see the Tigers play the Blue Jays and really hoping the rain holds off. Originally, it wasn't supposed to rain today. That changed yesterday. So far, it's been overcast all day, but not really looking like it will necessarily rain. So, here's hoping... (If it does rain, that will suck, but I will be seeing the Jays play on the 30th in Toronto against the Indians. One of two games I'll get a chance to see in Toronto this season because of my work schedule.)

Random Thought! On August 31, I know for sure that I'm not buying any DC comics...

Random Thought! If you want to know why Howard Chaykin is better than Mike Deodato, look at the way Deodato draws the Red Skull on the cover of New Avengers #12 and, then, how Chaykin draws the character inside.

Random Thought! Very little new in the August solicitations that I'm interested in. Mostly a month of staying the course with what I already buy. The exceptions look like: Severed from Image, Vertigo Resurrected: Johnny Double, and the two Hickman Ultimate titles.

Random Thought! This weekend, the winners of this year's Glyph Awards (which I was a judge for this year) will be announced the East Coast Black Age of Comics Convention in Philadelphia. If you're in the area, check it out.

Random Thought! On Saturday night, I took the bus home from work. I was waiting for a transfer to take me home and across the street from that stop is a gaming centre with bingo, video gaming machines, etc. So, I'm standing at the stop, headphones on, and I see this guy coming across the street and he seems to be looking at me. I figure, at the most, he just wants to know how long I've been waiting/if the bus is coming soon. No, he gets up to me and says, "My buddy lost all of his money at the bingo and we need to take the bus home. Do you have any money you can give us?" I told him I didn't have any cash and he slinked back across the street. I wasn't aware "I have a gambling problem, can I have money?" is a tactic people use these days... Because that's the best way to have a stranger give you some money.

Random Thought! While I'm sticking with The Unwritten, I would not buy graphic novels 'adapting' the Tommy Taylor novels. I can understand the impulse behind possibly doing that, but I don't care.

Random Thought! So, it's decided: if you apply realism to comics, you wind up with a lot of mentally broken people who either kill themselves or kill tons of other people. Though, the idea that Tim and I came up with of the Steve Ditko run being the only 'true' Spider-Man comics as he continually disconnects from reality more and more is fun.


Random Review! A couple of weeks back, I got a package from Brian John Mitchell at Silber Media containing ten mini-comics, six mini books that are part of Mitchell's Small Art Series, and the latest issue of Jason Young's Veggie Dog Saturn series. There was also a download card for some other comics, but I haven't gotten a chance to use it yet (if only because I kept putting it back in the evelope with the mini-comics). Some thoughts on these:

First up, Veggie Dog Saturn #5 was the book I enjoyed the most. Jason Young includes a bunch of short stories, some that don't really land, but most do. A story about being amazed as a child at his brother's ability to put a tape in the VCR and make naked breasts show up on the screen is pretty funny -- especially when he figures out how his brother did it and is disappointed that his brother doesn't have magic powers. A family trip to the cemetary is odd and wacky in how over-the-top excited everyone is. His art isn't the most developed I've seen, but his style is simple and clean, and he's good at communicating what's going on.

The mini-comics themselves really ranged in quality for me. They're tiny little books. Barely over an inch by an inch. That doesn't give much room for impressive art or a lot of words per page. Most take the form of poetic shorts, I guess. The narratives tend to have pretty simple twists that don't really impress. Looking through the stack of them, Kurt Dinse's art on "Star" #1 was one of the stand-outs and there's something very simple and charming about "Built" #1 by Mitchell and Joe Badon. The absurdist "Poit" comics in collboration with Dave Sim (you read that right) are interesting in their use of the same art, but don't really cohere into anything.

The use of violent twists is something that seems to run through all of the books and grated on me as they kept piling up. It's somewhat predictable when you read a bunch of these in a row. By the time I got to "XO" #7, it just made me groan more than anything, because the twist was annoying after so many. Still, there's something that draws me to these little comics. They aren't always entirely clear/apparent on the first reading and that challenge of seeing how they work exactly, of what Mitchell and company were going for, is appealing.

Definitely different than most of what's out there, the Silber mini-comics definitely won't be for everyone, but are interesting to check out. You can learn more at their website


Random Comments! I talk, you talk, I talk...

sean said: I think the reason that no one talks about Irredeemable anymore is that the series has moved to far away from its original hook (superman gone rogue). I still pick it up and it’s still well written, but even I miss when it was just a beaten, exhausted group of surviving heroes struggling to survive against the Plutonian. If I had it my way, there’d be 24 issues of Irredeemable, 12 issues of Incorruptible and it would all culminate in a plus sized final battle issue.

I disagree. I don't think either series needs to end. That the books have evolved and changed is a good thing.

Daryll B said: Finally, what you think of Jay Lethal coming to ROH and the burial (again) of Daniels in TNA?

I want to see Daniels become the new TNA Television champion. I like Jay Lethal, but don't love his work. He's fine.

Brian Cronin said: As for the Boys, yeah, that was one of the weakest issues in quite some time. For it to come out the same week as Jennifer Blood – perhaps the worst Ennis week ever? He’s such an amazing writer, but Jennifer Blood is fairly mediocre (the ridiculousness of her getting caught by her neighbor is just far beyond the pale) and this Boys arc, while already being an extreme info-dump, really hit the info-dump mother lode with this issue. This stuff would seem to work better as backmatter, in essay-form (sort of like Bendis’ oral history of the Avengers). I mean, don’t get me wrong, the Boys was not a BAD issue, it just wasn’t GOOD, and I thoroughly expect at least good from Ennis pretty much every time out.

I actually said to Tim after that issue of The Boys came out that I wished Ennis would just do a text issue. Cram it all into 22 pages of text with no art and be done with it. The art added so little that why bother?

stealthwise said: Matthew Good is “cool.” What is this, the high school cafeteria in 1998? No wait, he sucked back then too.

Ouch. And, actually, I wouldn't put his new album in the 'cool' category really. I still haven't gotten Vancouver. White Light Rock and Roll Review was the last album of his that I really loved.

That's it for this week. Thanks for reading. Later.

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